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MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; ANZ, Westpac rise

MARKET CLOSE: NZ shares gain; ANZ, banks shrug off capital requirements

Dec. 23 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand shares rallied as Australia & New Zealand Banking Group and Westpac Banking Corp shrugged off Australian regulatory requirements to hold more capital and offshore investors saw value in a market that has lagged global peers in recent days.

The NZX 50 Index rose 41.444 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4722.635. Within the index, 33 stocks rose, 11 fell and six were unchanged. Turnover was $93 million.

ANZ Bank rose 1.8 percent to $34.62 on the NZX and Westpac gained 2.1 percent to $34.70. Australia’s banking regulator said that nation’s four largest banks, which include ANZ and Westpac, will need to carry an extra 1 percent of core tier 1 capital from Jan. 1, 2016.

“It hasn’t seen a massive impact on the market,” said Greg Easton, an adviser at Craigs Investment Partners. “It isn’t that severe a regulation to implement.”

A2 Corp led gainers, rising 6.7 percent to 80 cents.

Hallenstein Glasson Holdings rose 4.5 percent to $3.70, leading some retailers higher after Paymark said spending in the first three weeks of December was 6.9 percent up on the same period last year, suggesting retailers may be in for a strong Christmas.

Michael Hill International rose 3.7 percent to $1.41 and Kathmandu rose about 3 percent to $3.48. Warehouse Group slipped 0.5 percent to $3.65.

Among market heavyweights, Fletcher Building rose 1.8 percent to $8.54 and Telecom rose 1.3 percent to $2.34.Auckland International Airport gained 2 percent to $3.55.

“There’s been a few people looking to pick up a bargain,” Easton said. “We’ve lagged the rest of the world.”

Guinness Peat Group fell 1.7 percent to 58.5 cents after saying the UK Pensions Regulator had issued warning notices over two of its pension plans.

Chorus, the network operator, fell 1.4 percent to $1.445 after the Commerce Commission said in its latest benchmarking report that prices for a combined package of broadband and phone services have fallen over the past two years but remain higher than the OECD average, while so-called naked broadband prices are now below OECD peers.

Summerset Group rose 0.6 percent to $3.25 after the retirement village operator named Housing NZ’s chief financial officer named Scott Scoullar as its CFO.

New Zealand Oil & Gas was unchanged at 80 cents after taking an interest in an Indonesian prospect.


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